Remembrance: Brenda Crowe

Brenda Crowe and her son Tyler Crowe at Kansas City Ballet's "The Nutcracker" in 2016.
Brenda Crowe and her son Tyler Crowe at Kansas City Ballet’s “The Nutcracker” in 2016.

Brenda Crowe’s smile was contagious. Her good moods were the best!

The feisty, auburn-haired box office manager originally joined Kansas City Ballet in September of 1997 as an administrative assistant. Then in 1998, she moved into the role of Box Office Manager and never looked back. She’d found her calling.

Brenda quickly made a name for herself in the way she championed for subscribers and donors of KC Ballet. Her loyalty to these groups was profound, as was theirs for her. It was not unusual for a long list of subscribers to insist on working with Brenda directly each year to renew their subscription seats.

Brenda’s unique charms did not go unnoticed. She was a strong personality, committed to forging the path she deemed correct. Her capacity to be direct was renowned. She loved the KC Ballet that had become her home away from home.

Brenda’s loyalty extended to her staff in the box office as well. She was devoted to them and went out of her way to show them appreciation with potluck lunches and treats and to shower them with motherly affection or advice.

As much as Brenda loved Kansas City Ballet, her heart was in being a mother to her son Tyler. Tyler grew up at KC Ballet taking classes, volunteering and working in the box office at performances. He was the driving force in her life and KC Ballet became his extended family as well. In fact, KC Ballet’s former Artistic Director Todd Bolender took a special interest in Brenda and Tyler. She cherished their friendship. So much so that photos of Todd remained prominently displayed in Brenda’s office after his death in 2006.

Brenda Crowe will be deeply missed. Her loss is a heavy blow to the KC Ballet family. The best moments: when she was quick with a joke or a laugh, when her smile and the twinkle in her eye were contagious, or when her caring heart showed how much this Ballet family meant to her… these are moments that won’t be forgotten. In the end, these are the moments that mattered most. These are the moments behind why she is and will always be beloved.

Share Thoughts or Memories

Please share your favorite memories or thoughts for Tyler in the comments section.


A Celebration of Life for Brenda Crowe
Saturday, June 2  |  Open House 2-4 p.m.
Todd Bolender Center for Dance & Creativity
500 W. Pershing Road  |  Kansas City, Missouri 64108


The family requests anyone wishing to donate, to please make a gift to Kansas City Ballet in memory of Brenda Crowe. Gifts can be made in person at the Bolender Center, over the phone at 816.216.5582 or online. If you give a gift online, you’ll select “In memory of” and type in Brenda Crowe. Please know all of these gifts will go toward the Todd Bolender Scholarship Fund.

32 thoughts on “Remembrance: Brenda Crowe

  1. So sad to hear of her passing, I remember my first ticket purchase back in 2006. She immediately won my heart with her kindness and passion for the ballet.

  2. Brenda was a treasure. Witty, kind, with a smile that was contagious. I will miss chatting with her, and laughing with her. She was one of the really good ones.

  3. This is for Tyler: In June of 2006 when I was in Kansas City, staying with Todd Bolender and helping a little bit with the clearing of his apartment prior to his move to assisted living, he spoke to me several times of you and Brenda and his deep affection for you both. And every encounter I had with your mother between 2001 and 2006, when I was traveling to KC to interview Todd for a book that is nearly finished made me understand why: her warmth, the sparkle in her eyes, her dedication to her job and to the company Todd Bolender built, and her humor, not to mention her pride in you. My sympathy, Tyler, it’s a hard one.

  4. Brenda was such a beautiful soul. A surrogate mom to all of us dancers when we needed a cheer up. She was kind and generous with such a good heart. It was so clear in the way she loved Tyler that she was an amazing mother too. She was one of those rare people that truly touched the lives of countless others. You will be missed dearly Brenda. Thank you for being a ray of sunshine in my life. Rest in peace, love, and light.

  5. Brenda was very special to me —there were so many times I would stop in her office and chat about the big and little concerns of the day . She was loving and kind and real and I will miss her.

  6. I was so very sorry to hear about dear Brenda! Making reservations, working with her on Boutique finances, answering those hard to figure out questions, she was always there with a smile and an answer. I loved running next door to see her and ha the Midland. She will be truly missed!

  7. What a shock to hear that we have lost such a dear woman! Brenda was always so warm and kind. It is hard to imagine the Kansas City Ballet without her and she will be missed!

  8. Brenda was a great colleague and friend. She always checked in to hear about her friends and their families. I will miss our conversations.

  9. Brenda was always so kind to me and my family. I’ll always remember my first week at the ballet about 15 years ago when she welcomed me with a loaf of fresh bread from a wonderful bakery nearby. I will miss her friendly self and pray she is now pain-free and running and jumping and smiling.

  10. I always loved sitting in with Brenda for a chat. She made me laugh and was just so sweet and caring. It was lovely to hear her talk about Tyler with pride and joy shining through her. Brenda was a consistent presence for 13 years of my life and I will treasure her memory. I’m so sorry for your loss Tyler.

  11. Brenda was truly one of the good ones. I looked forward to the Nutcracker season and spending time in the box office with her. What a true gentleman she raised Tyler to be. I might not know a more devoted mom or respectful child.
    I am blessed to have known her.

  12. Dear Tyler, I was so sad to hear of your mother’s passing on Thursday. I don’t know if you remember me or not, but your mom and you and I shared a pizza one evening some fifteen years ago during one of my around-the-country road trips. Brenda was one of those un-forgettable characters that come along only every once in awhile, if you’re lucky, in a lifetime. After a chance meeting in Harling’s Upstairs in the mid-80’s, she gave me a place to stay at her old house on Gennessee. That meeting itself is one of my favorite stories, but that is for another time. My life would be forever changed. New adventures, new friends, and new music were part and parcel of living in that remarkable place. So, as I later found a home and a career in the Great Northwest, and Brenda found proud mamma-hood and an integral position at an esteemed Kansas City institution, it comes as no wonder that she continued to touch so many lives so profoundly. God bless and comfort, Paul (Ogle)

  13. I am so profoundly shocked and saddened to learn of Brenda’s passing. I knew she was facing a difficult surgery this past week, but ….. I cannot express how sorry I am. Brenda was always so exceptionally kind to me, and cared so deeply about the KC Ballet ‘family,’ almost as much as her beloved son Tyler, whose name frequently found its way into his proud mother’s conversations. Her loyalty and generous spirit will remain with me always. I am overwhelmed with sadness tonight.

  14. Brenda went out of her way to help me on many occasions – with ticket issues, information or anything else. She will be sadly missed.

  15. Brenda was one of my closest friends. There are few people you could call an angel walking on this earth, but she surely was one. So kind, so thoughtful, so loving, so smart, so funny, so generous. So many of us are devastated by her passing. I will miss her every day.

  16. Brenda offered caring customer service…. it was personal for her. She wanted the best for everyone she touched. Such an overwhelming loss for all.

  17. My wife, myself, and my daughter loved Brenda so very much. She was always a great positive force where ever she was. Tyler and my daughter went to HS together and were on the same swim team as well so we got to know Brenda very well. I’m sure that she is in a great place now and well deserved. Knowing what a great kind heart she has, she’s probably watching over all of us now still wishing the best for everyone! A very unselfish, loving, giving person! We will always love you Brenda Crowe! You will forever be in our hearts!

  18. Brenda and I became friends when we worked together and then remained friends at two other jobs. The last of those three was when I was Marketing Director for the Ballet and she was Box Office Manager. I will miss her deeply.

  19. I’d like to say something, but I’m crying right now and can’t see the screen. I’ve known Brenda since the ’70s and when she got her first apartment in KCK. Then, helped her move to a 3rd floor walkup on Warwick in KCMO. Then we moved her to the Cowboy Hotel up the street on Warwick. Later she got a house over on Gennessee. She let my wife and I stay for a week while we looked for a place in KC and try to find jobs. She was always ready to go to Ponaks on SW BLVD. The last time I saw her and first time to meet Tyler was at Ponaks.
    I didn’t see her much lately, but the memories will never die.

  20. The year was 2010.The location was the Lyric Theatre specifically its lobby with never any seating.My wife Rita and I had arrived early as usual to hear William Whitener’s pre-talk.Rita was recovering from breast cancer surgery,chemo therapy and radiation.Brenda saw that Rita was pretty exhausted and needed to sit somewhere.The next thing we realized was that Brenda ordered the doors into the main hall to be opened and we were being escorted up stairs to sit down for the eventual talk.Much hellraising was going on from the usher captain who was irate that we were allowed in before she authorized the doors to be opened to the public.As we passed her on our way upstairs I heard her say”who do THEY know?”Just like the rest of you our answer was ‘Brenda’.
    Rest in peace dear Brenda.Our love for you was exceeded only by your love for us.

  21. Tyler, I’ve known you since you were born, and you know that Brenda was one of my closest-ever friends in life. We shared a cherished friendship for over 30+ years that included wonderful adventures — among them her founding of our now-30-year-old annual trip to the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival — back in the 80s when I lived in KCMO, many wonderful visits in both Kansas City and Massachusetts after I moved away, and always the solid sense that we were 900% there for each other. Total trust and love and loyalty. Love and loyalty were two things that defined your mom; she was big-hearted and true-blue, like precious few people we meet in this life. She was a truly unique and wonderful, colorful character = — vivacious, crabby, smart as hell, extremely witty and equally opinionated, outspoken, kind, loyal, indignant, and generous. I am going to miss her special presence every single day for the rest of my days. It’s really hard to grasp that she is gone so soon. She is so loved by so many — and so are you, Tyler. She lives on in our hearts, and in you. XOX

  22. Brenda was an amazing part of the Kansas City box office community. We’ve lost part of our heart with her. Her smile and wit will always be in my memories. Consortium meetings will never be the same. Much love, Brenda. You will be sorely missed.

  23. Although Brenda’s official title was Box Office Manager she was so much more to the K.C. Ballet. Though I had nothing to do with the box office operations I always went into Brenda’s office to visit, to laugh, to debate, to talk about anything and everything.

    She was a devoted mother to Tyler, but she also was a second mother to so many young dancers who came through the ballet school and company. I will always remember her many kindnesses which she showed to Rhonda and me. However, we weren’t at all different from so many others. Brenda showed thoughtfulness to so, so many who came through the doors to the building. I’ll cherish my memories of her forever.

  24. Ancient friends, memories of the Cowboy Hotel, the home on Genessee and Crawdad celebrations extraordinaire, the house on 38th near KU Med Center, and the lovely home north of the river. She has always been devoted to Tyler and her community. Blessings and condolences. Auntie Val

  25. Any time I called about my tickets Brenda was always so friendly and helpful. I felt like she was a friend though I think I only met her once.
    What a loss for all of us. I will of course remember her so fondly.

  26. Brenda was so nice and accommodating each and every time we called the Ballet Ticket Office for a special request. Her voice was one of warmth and friendship, and we spoke as though we had been friends for years. May she rest in His eternal. peace.

  27. Brenda was always the shining beacon in the old Westport Allen Center Office. She was always so kind and helpful when arranging tickets for family and friends, and she always was in for a good hug when you were having a bad day. I was very sad to hear of her passing…she was a very special soul.

  28. I have been a season ticket holder since 1986. When Brenda became the Box Office Manager, I could call in and she would recognize my voice. When I went in person to exchange tickets, she always took time to chat. We talked about our children. She beamed when she talked about Tyler. I was just asked about her when I had to surrender my Men in Black tickets. I had hoped to catch up with her but unknowingly to me, she was out due to her medical leave. I will miss her, her laugh and her caring heart.

  29. If I listed here all the wonderful traits that Brenda possessed, no one else would have room to write anything. I met Brenda shortly after she arrived at the Ballet. When I came in to teach, I’d pass her office and sometimes you would be sitting on the floor in front of her desk eating an after-school snack or doing homework or running around with a couple of toys. We’d chat. She had a great sense of humor. She beamed whenever she the conversation turned to you. And the older you grew, the brighter she beamed. I will miss our chats, her help and her take on things. I will miss her. I am so sorry for your loss.

  30. My whole family adored Brenda. My parents, Don and Viktoria Smith, were subscribers to the KC Ballet, as was my brother Adrian, and I used to time many of my visits to my parents to coincide with KC Ballet performances so we could enjoy them together. Brenda always made sure to get us the best seats possible. We loved seeing both Brenda and Tyler at the Box Office during those years, Tyler is Brenda’s pride and joy and we always enjoyed hearing about his progress and successes in school. We retired to KCMO three years ago and were thrilled that Brenda was still the KC Ballet’s Box Office manager. She and her entire staff have taken great care of us and we know they will continue to do so. We will miss Brenda very much, but we know her legacy of outstanding care of the KC Ballet’s patrons will live on, and her love for Tyler is timeless.

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